I don’t want to give it away, but… it’s Extra-virgin Greek Olive oil!
Ancient Greeks called olive oil “liquid gold” because of its many uses. They used it for everything from lighting and cooking to medicine. Fast forward to today, and scientific studies have proven it to have a ton of health benefits. That, along with its delicious flavor, has kept it at the top of the list in most kitchens.
I use olive oil daily in my home kitchen and in the videos I share with you. You can use it for sauteing, roasting, baking, and more. So, it was time to assemble a guide to help you navigate it in your kitchen. I hope this helps you enjoy Greek olive oil just a bit more.
What’s the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil?
- Olive oil: a blend of refined olive oil, virgin olive oil, and extra virgin olive oil. It’s light in flavor, similar to vegetable oils, and what I use when I refer to a “light-flavored” oil in my recipes.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: this is 100% extra virgin olive oil with a range of bold flavors and aromas. I use this for deep, rich flavor in things like dressings, gremolatas, etc.
Which olive oil has the most health benefits?
Both olive oil and extra virgin olive oil are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat with antioxidants and polyphenols. However, extra virgin olive oil is less processed. So, it has more natural antioxidants and vitamins. Olive oil is more processed for a higher smoke point and more neutral flavor.
Is Greek olive oil healthier than other olive oils?
The Mediterranean diet has been encouraged as a way to get healthy for decades, and it’s full of rich Greek olive oil. Without getting into too much of the science, Greek olives have increased levels of healthy ingredients because of Greece’s specific climate and soil. Plus, most of the olive oils from Greece are still produced by hand-harvesting and cold pressing or extracting, which preserves their nutritional and health benefits.
What are the health benefits of Greek olive oil?
- Healthy fats -olive oil is mostly made up of monounsaturated fat. It’s the healthy fat linked to benefitting heart health, cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes, and more.
- Vitamins -olive oil has essential vitamins that help the immune system and body functions. Vitamin E, vitamin K1, calcium, iron, sodium, and potassium are predominant.
- Antioxidants -olive oil is packed with beneficial polyphenols that are known to neutralize free radicals and protect your body’s cells.
- Anti-inflammatory -because of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in olive oil, it is on the list of foods that reduce inflammation to help with arthritis, cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and more.
- Heart healthy -the combination of healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties in olive oil helps lower blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Brain health -the healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties also aid in nerve health that promotes cognitive memory and mood.
- Weight control -as I said, a Mediterranean diet rich in extra virgin olive oil has been encouraged as a way to get healthy. The healthy fat and other benefits of olive oil offer the potential to aid in weight loss and control and offer the greatest benefits long-term.
Why is Greek olive oil so good?
Greece is well-known for its high-quality olive oil with bold, robust, and fruity flavors. The flavor of each oil depends on the olive used. But don’t worry, they’ll all be delicious and make every dish taste better.
What recipes highlight Greek olive oil’s flavor?
Recipes that let the authentic flavors of Greek olive oil shine are those you don’t cook. Drizzling the oil over a dish or using it as a base for a dressing or dip would be best. Try my Ladolemono Dressing, Bread Dipping Oil with Roasted Garlic, Marinated Olives and Feta, and Gremolata.
Will I still get the health benefits from cooking with Greek olive oil?
Yes! Using Greek olive oil as the base for dressings, dips, and marinades may provide you with the most nutrients from the oil. However, we don’t typically cook with high enough heat to alter its benefits either. Its high smoke point allows you to sauté and even fry with it. Try my Salmon in Lemon Butter Sauce, Greek-style Roasted Mediterranean Sea Bass, Roasted and Fried Lebanese Cauliflower, and Greek-fried Zucchini Chips.
What olive oil do you use?
I use the gourmet olive oil in our shop, an extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil from my dad’s hometown in the Apokoronas region of Crete. Cretan Extra Virgin Olive Oil is of the highest quality from Koroneiki olives and is cold extracted for the most benefits. It has a fragrant and fresh flavor profile, a golden green hue and is harvested right in Crete.